Africa

Early Kuba mask with provenance

Q: Hello from Belgium. Here is one of my favorites from my collection of masks of the world. It is 19th century and a part of the objects brought back from Congo during the 1st Belgian expedition organized by the CCI (Compagnie pour le Commerce et l’Industrie) to Katanga 1891-1893 and led by Alexandre Delcommune. This is the first Royal Kuba masks, Ngaady a Mwaash, known to be brought in Belgium in 1893 and probably the only known to date to have the nape covered with commercial fabric that was a royal exclusive Kuba privilege before the submission of the Kuba Kingdom in 1904. It comes from the estate of the collection of Dr. Paul Briart, who was the doctor of the expedition and right-arm man of Alexandre Delcommune. Fabrice, 1631

A: Most of the masks sent to this website are from thrift shops and markets. They cost very little money, or the sender paid to much for a fake. Most of them are of low value.

Here we have a 19th century African mask that has the kind of provenance museums curators and book editors insist on. Fabrice has sent four excellent photos at high resolution so you can enlarge them and see the fine details. This is what an authentic Kuba Ngaady looks like. You can find plenty of informative articles on Kuba masks by going to Google. A+

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